Trotter shines as Sea Eagles down Roosters

Hat-trick hero Trent Trotter helped the North Beach Sea Eagles move outright top of the WA Smarter Smoking Premiership after a 40-28 win over the Fremantle Roosters on Saturday.

In his second game of the season after returning from injury, Trotter was instrumental out of dummy half as the Sea Eagles claimed their fifth win in a row to move two points clear at the top of the table after nine rounds.

“He’s (Trotter’s) added a real good dynamic to us. The boys who are coming back from injury are really going to impact us – it’s a long season,” Sea Eagles Coach John Hough said.

Trotter was well supported by halfback Jeremey Wallace who chipped in with a try and two assists as the hosts racked up eight tries to four.

“He gets better each week does Jeremey – it was really pleasing with what he did,” Hough said.

In a game which pitted first against second on the ladder, it was the Roosters who hit the board first – Bjorn Crotty crashing over a week after being named Player of the Tournament at the 2018 Combined Affiliated States Championships.

The Roosters, welcoming back eight first-team players from CAS duty looked strong early – five-eight Sonny Kerr causing the North Beach defence plenty of headaches with his kicking game.

After soaking up some early pressure, North Beach hit back just before the quarter hour mark when a flying Josh Toole got on the end of Wallace’s perfectly weighted grubber kick to put his side in front.

The game was Toole’s first for North Beach since Round Five after missing time through work and CAS duty.

Wallace was again involved moments later, selling the Fremantle defence a dummy before going himself to dot down and give his side a 10-4 lead.

With the Sea Eagles now in the ascendency, Trotter bounced to grab a double within as many minutes – both a carbon copy of each other after some great work from Greg Lingard and Wallace to blow the game out to 20-6 going into half-time.

Things got a bit feisty in the second half with North Beach forward Charles Crowley sent from the field for a dangerous tackle.

Fremantle’s Tarin Katu took exception to the tackle and was sent off for his involvement in the proceeding fight, while Crotty was given 10 in the bin.

With the game now 11 on 12, the Roosters kicked into action – winger Jason Nicholls snaring a double to get his side back in the game.

Remarkably, having scored just one try with their full allowance of players, the Roosters had scored two in just 10 minutes with 11 players.

When Shandyn Moody crossed for the Roosters to cancel out Zach Fitzgerald’s try it was suddenly a four-point game with 20 minutes to play.

With the game in the balance, Trotter stepped up once more to clinch his hat-trick with a darting run from dummy half.

A try to Kani Solomon and Fitzgerald’s second of the afternoon removed any threat of a Fremantle comeback, however, and secured a 40-28 win for the table-topping Sea Eagles.

In other games around the grounds, the Joondalup Giants let another half-time lead slip to fall 42-22 to the Rockingham Sharks, while the South Perth Lions kept up their good form with a 78-0 win over the winless Willagee Bears.